What I was (poorly) referring to is the kind of brutal, frankly sickening deaths producers seem to assume that audiences squeal with glee over.
We know TPTB casually killed off six billion Vulcans for the fun shock value, being crush to death in a collapsing planet sounds "messy." To many people in Trek fandom Vulcan is a second home world.
And how many people died horribly in San Fransisco when a starship sickled down their buildings like so much harvested wheat? An impressive special effect, but it did little to advance the plot.
Khan's stated target was Starfleet, but it appeared that he actually plowed into the civilian portion of the city.
More fun that way huh.
As opposed to all the planets that snuffed it in TOS.
Seriously its a little funny how if random planet X with its billions of inhabitants buys the farm l, but a planet the fans actually give a crap about get obliterated they treat it like sacrilege.
"Opernation--Annihilhate" comes to mind. There's a reason it wasn't titled "Operation--Peace and Tranquility!"
They killed off Kirk's brother AND his sister-in-law . . . and a whole string of obscure alien planets.
And I'm not sure blowing up Vulcan marks some pernicious new trend. Branching out a bit, Star Wars
blew up Alderaan blew up way back in 1977. And a Doomsday Bomb destroyed the Planet of the Apes a few years earlier. And then there's Krypton and When Worlds Collide
and probably a few more doomed planets in "Flash Gordon" or E. E.E Smith or whatever.
Science fiction tends to be hard on unsuspecting planets. You've got Death Stars and Doomsday Machines and runaway asteroids and plagues of neural parasites . . .